I had the privilege of being invited to a very intimate book launch for chef, Foodnetwork show host and author/adventurer, Bob Blumer. I had no idea there would only be eight other people in attendance apart from the man himself. Bob Blumer had prepared a few nibbles for us at the Drake Hotel just prior to our arrival – all recipes from his new book Glutton For Pleasure (great title). He came in and chatted with us about one of countless unique, global culinary experiences and about the experience of putting together his book (his third to date). He was a great story teller, very down-to-earth, irreverend and, I must say, rather sexy. I almost lost my composure when I had a bite of the Cocktail Dates. It was indescribably good. Medjool dates, chunk Parmigianno Reggiano in the center and wrapped in bacon. A great version of Devils on Horseback. What could be better? Obviously, I will be preparing those for the next party I attend or throw. The other delicious treats we enjoyed: Chicken Popsicles and deep fried Chocolate Wontons (filled with peanut butter, bananas and Rolo or Caramilk bar segments – oh YES.).
Upon initially flipping through the book, the photography is undeniably gorgeous. It makes for a very colourful, visual feast. He was quick to point out that the dishes are photographed just as they are – with no manipulation or additional 'styling'. The recipes are prefaced with interesting or funny personal stories and anecdotes that give context to the dishes and how they came to be. The book is also filled with his trademark quirky ingredient combinations and unconventional cooking techniques. I really appreciate his anti-elitist approach to cooking. I'm looking forward to trying the recipes out myself.
Many thanks to Suresh of Spotlight Toronto for the invitation.